A media player is a computer program for playing multimedia files, such as music and videos. There is a default media player that varies for different operating systems, for example, Windows Media Player is the default player for Windows and iTunes is for Mac.
In addition to the default players on your computer, there are a slew of 3rd-party media players available there with a better capability and more advanced features. As media files continue to evolve, you can easily getting in trouble playing a media files using the default player in your system, then you may want to move to these stronger players to better suit you needs.
Why you need a desktop media player?
A 3rd-party desktop media player generally provides a better compatibility and more advanced features than the default media player in your system. Here are the benefits you can derive from the a 3rd-party desktop media player:
playing media files under a wider array of formats
giving an quick access to your media files
making it easy to manage your media files collections
providing more advanced features
the chance to customize and personalize the player
easy to get, there are a slew of free yet strong players available.
That being said, now I am going to list out the 5 best and free desktop media players for this year.
1. VLC Media Player
You can use VLC Media player indefinitely for free without suffering from ads and spyware. The best thing about VLC is that it plays all types of media files under any formats and runs on all platforms.
VLC is quite easy to use and offers a set of advanced features and gives you the whole control when playing your media files. It also supports 360-degree video.
Moreover, VLC Media Player is an open-source project that allows you to customize and extend the functionality by integrating with extensions and plugins.
MediaMonkey is a fully featured media player as well as a media manager. It is good at managing a massive collections of videos and audio files, whether they’re stored locally or on a network, so that you can easily find the files you know you have.
It also comes with auto tag features that automatically identify and fix the tags for files that are tag missing and duplicated.
The downsides of MediaMonkey are that it is a bit heavyweight and is only available for Windows.
Media Player Classic – Home Cinema(MPC-HC) continues to use the name and the look of classic windows media player. It has been evolved to be a fairly lightweight yet powerful playback tool with the support for files under pretty much all formats.
Although MPC-HC lacks other functionality than media player, for example, media collection manager, it is an open-source project that can work with plugins and tools, this way it can fit almost all your needs by integrating with different tools.
4. GOM Player
GOM player is a free and simple player stands out because of the support for all the most popular media formats, powerful subtitle functionality that allows you to adjust the placement, size and syncing setting of your subtitles, plus tons of advanced features such as playback speed control, video effects, screen capture and more.
The major downsides of GOM player are that it includes ads in the installer and although it comes with simple and clean interface, you still need time to get familiar with the location of it’s function buttons.
PotPlayer plays medias under any format. It comes with clean and uncluttered interface with easy access to important features, you can also easily customize the skin and theme.
PotPlaye works with files from all sources, such as local PC, TV, HDTV, DVD even URLs on internet. It optimize these files and provides the maximum performance when you play them.
However, PotPlayer lacks support for Mac, Linux, Android and is only available for Windows.
So, which desktop media player do like best? There are actually a lot of great options out there, if there is one you think belongs in this list, share it by posting a comment below.